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Two Ex-Army Offices Walk Into a Pub… and Came Out AV Experts
It might sound like we’re starting off with a joke, but this is actually quite an interesting story. There are loads of great stories about adventurous business owners making their mark in the events industry, but they don’t get told all that often. So we thought we would shine some light on two inspiring business owners that epitomise the drive and commitment needed to be leaders in our industry.
Meet Andrew Grudnik and Robyn Farrell, directors of Melbourne-based audio visual suppliers, Creative Vision and Audio (CVA). Andrew and Robyn are adventurous people who met when they were in the army.
After retiring from a successful and challenging army career, the two found themselves as the publicans at a venue in South Melbourne. The pub they managed was a famous training ground for comedians like Jimeoin, Bob Franklin, Rove, Stephen Curry, Eric Bana, Dave O’Neil, Kitty Flanagan and many more.
One day Andrew had an idea. Flat screen technology was just about to hit Australian shores and he was positive that it was a winning business opportunity. He presented the idea to Robyn, “Hey Robbie, how about we spend all our life savings on two super big TVs?” …or words to that effect, as the story goes.
After picking herself up off the floor, Robyn decided that this might actually be a good idea. Ready for a new adventure, in August 2000 the first plasma screens were hired out under the CVA banner.
From that moment on, Andrew and Robyn have thrown themselves into the audiovisual industry and have built a successful team around them. Together they work to produce some of Melbourne’s biggest and most exciting events.
One of their biggest successes is being the preferred audio visual supplier at Federation Square – the heart of Melbourne’s event scene. The CVA team in place at Fed Square manages 7 event spaces over more than 3.2 hectares. They help to produce over 2400 events a year that attract nearly 36 million visitors to the precinct. That’s a pretty busy events team, and you can bet that Andrew and Robyn’s army experience makes them great leaders – organised and efficient.
However, it’s not just a case of getting the job done. Like any great publicans, customer service is a number one priority. 90% of CVA’s clients are repeat and this is testament to their customer-driven approach.
Andrew and Robyn, however, both agree that the key to CVA’s success is not just them, but the team they have built around them. Andrew says, “teamwork is paramount to the success of every event, and the success of our business as a whole. From load in to load out, everyone needs to know their part.”
It’s no wonder then that for the past two years, the CVA team based at Federation Square has been announced as AV Service Team of the Year Finalists at the international AV Awards. #congrats
In addition, the team have recently been successful in winning the Federation Square tender for another term as the preferred AV suppliers.
Sixteen years on and while those original plasma screens are no doubt gathering dust, Creative Vision & Audio certainly isn’t. Taking a risk and seizing opportunities is the first step to building a successful business. But more importantly, delivering quality service as a team will keep you in business well into the future.
For help creating high-impact and successful events in Melbourne get in touch with audiovisual suppliers, Creative Vision and Audio.